Saturday, December 14, 2013

How to Create "Raving Fans"

Twice a month I send out an email to everyone in our church who is in some kind of "leadership" position (and anyone else who asks to be on the list...). Here are the thoughts I sent them last week:

I'm a big fan of Ken Blanchard, so one evening when I had a few spare minutes at Barnes and Noble, I grabbed one of his books and read the first couple pages. The book is Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach to Customer Service. The basic gist of the book is:

Having raving fans means that you have achieved the kind of
service excellence that turns a customer into lifetime customer.
A raving fan is an advocate of your products or services in the marketplace.

As I read, I thought about how the ideas Ken was sharing might apply to church leadership (s a church leader, I often do this). I realized that all of us are trying to create "raving fans"; and every church is a reflection of what kind of raving fans their leaders have sought to create. Here is a list I created of some of the ways we create "raving fans" in churches:

Some have created RAVING FANS OF THEMSELF. Too many pastors have bought into the unbiblical myth that the primary role of the pastor is to be a charismatic leader, and that if the pastor is simply a good enough leader, the people will follow and the church will be healthy. Essentially, the pastor behaves so the people will fanatically follow him.

Many have created RAVING FANS OF THE CHURCH. Churches today are branding themselves and working hard to be innovative and unique so that they stand out from the other religious institutions in their country. Their goal is to bring people into their church and then convert and disciple them. This is not all bad, but this can be severely out of balance in many churches. Basically, the pastors act in such a way so that the people become fanatical followers of their brand of church.

I've observed some pastors and people who "do church" in such a way as to create RAVING FANS OF PROGRAMS. Programs are great ways to accomplish wonderful things, but if they become something that promotes division in the church, they have outlived their purpose.

Some create RAVING FANS OF THE BIBLE. Don't misunderstand me, the Bible is a good thing, and I'm a fan. But I've seen some churches where the Bible is so revered that I sometimes wonder if the written words haven't become an idol. I believe the Bible is the most authoritative document ever written, but I never want to be a person who uses my knowledge of the Bible to beat people over the head.

And by now, you've probably guessed where I'm going.

What would it look like if our churches only priority was to create RAVING FANS OF JESUS? What if you were committed as a leader to do everything in your power to influence people to be RAVING FANS OF JESUS? How would that commitment change the way you lead this week?

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